Season 2, Episode 6
“Your name is Tim? And yours is…Dick?” — Beast Boy
The writers saturated “Happy New Year!” with a host of new characters. Since then, they’ve been slowly building up these characters – including Blue Beetle, Wonder Girl, Batgirl, Tim Drake Robin, Lagoon Boy, and others – while not really introducing any new ones. That changes this week with the arrival of Bart Allen, a.k.a. Impulse.
That’s right: IMPULSE! AND HE’S VOICED BY JASON MARSDEN!
Impulse was Barry Allen’s descendent and one of the founding members of Young Justice in the comics who came from the 30th century to meet his ancestor and make a name for himself in the past. Young Justice edits this backstory a bit – Bart is now Barry’s grandson from a post-apocalyptic world 40 years in the future. It’s some pretty heavy stuff. And if that wasn’t enough, the writers finally tie up the ‘Real Roy Harper’ storyline. The inclusion of Impulse to the Team’s lineup shows that the writers intend to stock this show full of characters – old and new – that represent the idea behind ‘Young Justice’. It’s not a show strictly about the team from the comics, and it’s not a rehash of the Teen Titans, no matter how much it may have seemed throughout the first season. Also, Bart reveals Nightwing and Robins’ secret identities to Beast Boy, who responds with the quote at the top of the review.
While Impulse might be the focus of “Bloodlines”, this really is a Flash-centric episode. When mysterious new villain Neutron attacks Central City, Flash is forced to team up with Impulse and Kid Flash – coming out of early retirement for his in-costume season two debut – and later on Jay Garrick doning the iconic tin helmet and blue pants. Until the final few minutes of the episode, Neutron is your basic faceless villain in place only to get these heroes together. He wears a power suit that shoots energy, but also emits cascading rings of energy – one after the other and overlapped – so the Flashes cant run up to him. It’s a pretty far-fetched premise, even for a comic book series like this. There must have been an easier way to get the speedsters working together without crazy pseudo-science. How do the energy waves dissipate?
Flash and Impulse end of creating a funnel to stop the energy waves and Neutron overloads and explodes. But his body reconstructs itself into a confused and scared man who has no idea who he is and can’t control his radiation. Bart ends up curing the man of his ‘metagene’ affliction using science from the future before anyone can see, chalking it up to coincidence when asked about what happened by the others.
On the Red Arrow side of things, ‘Ray’ Harper and Cheshire are in Tibet to follow their final lead to find the read Roy Harper. The unfortunate thing about this B-story is that it’s pretty small considering the amount of time dedicated to Impulse’s origin story. Red Arrow and Cheshire’s plot all probably takes place within a ten minute window (in YJ-universe time), while the Central City plot takes the better part of an hour or two. So while they RA/Cheshire scenes are shorter and less abundant than the Flashes, it doesn’t feel like we’re missing much. The duo (with their dumb baby) end of actually finding Roy Harper, missing arm and everything. It’s a little anti-climactic, but there’s no doubt that next week’s episode will be the fallout of Roy’s return.
The big ‘whoa’ moment of the episode was the flashback to Bart Allen’s future where the world has been burned and ash fills the skies. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s pretty dark. Fortunately, the writers do a little full-circle action and reveal that Neutron knows Bart in the future and it was Neutron himself – who’d rather be called Nathaniel – who supplied Bart with the means to take away his powers as Neutron.
I wrote this review extra-long this week because Green Lantern: The Animated Series has ended it’s first season and there is no announcement even for a second. I’m sure there will be, as Cartoon Network plans of releasing the season one DVD, inferring that there will be more seasons. Until then, I’ll keep things going with Young Justice.